A complete hotel conversion in times of Covid-19? For this weeks “segara stars” we spoke with Pierre Laurent Schäfer, General Manager of Parkhotel Egerner Höfe at lake Tegernsee. The well-known hotel in Rottach-Egern is currently under construction and fully reinvents itself: the new design will be even more closely connected to the region, the interior plays with natural materials but still focuses entirely on contemporary design and the gourmet restaurant with star chef Thomas Kellermann will move into the main building with large window fronts which provide a perfect view of the surrounding mountains. Answers to what challenges a renovation during Corona brings, what Pierre Laurent Schäfer and his team plan for the future and why renovating during Corona might be the perfect timing, you will find below.
segara stars Pierre Laurent Schäfer, General Manager of Parkhotel Egerner Höfe
segara: Construction work at Parkhotel Egerner Höfe has been going on for four months now – in the middle of Covid-19 and shortly before the second lockdown in Germany started. Are you nevertheless making progress as planned?
Pierre Laurent Schäfer, hotel director at Parkhotel Egerner Höfe: Due to Covid-19, we already had one or two time constraints and in between we received new requirement and changes which we had to implement. For example, our canteen concept for the construction workers was completely revised once again, because it is important for us to continue to offer three full meals for the construction workers and our staff. We still see ourselves as hosts even during the closure period.
Was there, due to the Covid-19 situation, ever any question of postponing this complete conversion of the Egerner Höfe?
No, because there is no better time for us to carry out the reconstruction. At the moment we cannot make any revenue due to the current Covid-19 situation and lockdown requirements, so the time of our conversion is ideal for us.
Not only are the Egerner Höfe changing, but the entire management team has also become significantly younger. How much are you – star chef Thomas Kellermann and yourself involved?
I think that one does not corelate with the other. Generally, both of us are involved in all key decisions and have been part of every construction meeting from the very beginning. Our hotel and gastronomy expertise is wished-for and is also respected and implemented by the architects.
How do both of you make your joint decisions?
With honest discussions, deliberations and a constant exchange. Both of us have been in the business for a very long time and together we have an incredible amount of expertise in the luxury hotel industry as well as in award-winning cuisine.
Slowly, the plans are getting more concrete regarding an opening date for the Egerner Höfe. Can you already reveal a bit more?
We will open in the summer of 2021 and expect our park hotel to be open and ready for the summer vacations in Germany.
What can we all expect then at the Egerner Höfe?
At our new Parkhotel Egerner Höfe, you can expect an incredible number of employees who enjoy their work and are grateful for the opportunity to work in such a special place. Furthermore, Thomas Kellermann will open a completely new gourmet restaurant, which has moved into our main building. Architecturally, it is an absolute highlight with large window fronts and a view of the Wallberg. Thomas Kellermann’s culinary vision is best experienced on site. For relaxation, our guests will then have 1,500 square meters of spa at their disposal, and the Egerner Alm will continue to be our authentic alpine pasture at valley level for weddings and family celebrations.
What do you wish for the coming months until the first guests check back into the hotel?
That all employees continue to be so excited about the new hotel and that all training sessions can be held as planned. Also, that the positive spirit on the construction site continues despite difficult conditions.